Yes — I know Kanye West is the dude on everybody’s shit list — and if you’re not highly pissed at him — then you better shut the fuck up before you get battered and bruised by the mob.
The slavery comment was the last straw for most — and after that — it has been stormy weather for the esteemed rapper — who luckily hasn’t made it a habit to verify his actions with fans before proceeding with his plans to shock and rile up armed and ready gawkers.
The latest controversy is way worse than its predecessor and it involves an album release and art work — that captures the drug-filled existence of a world-class star that I loved very much.
Rapper Pusha T just dropped his latest gem — Daytona — and with Kanye as producer — it’s no surprise that such an ordinarily standard event would turn into war of words between energetic fans — and a self-professed genius who is a charismatic relic of the past.
There was a time that artistic expression was revered and encouraged — and that was only because of the elusiveness of it. Those who possessed the audacity to boldly go where very few dare — didn’t have to navigate the landscape of opinions from attention-seekers — hoping to find fame through the viral “cancelation” of targeted celebs.
There is strength in numbers — and sometimes — all that noise is necessary to elevate the issues that need to be highlighted so that the bad guys get to trip and fall from the slipperiness of their own mess.
But — there’s also the instances that erupt from the illness of one-track minds and how that mentality is robbing us from the ability to celebrate the power of individualism — and how it ultimately distinguishes us from one another.
It’s so easy to utilize your vast platform as the vessel for the truth that isn’t necessarily yours — but needs to be — in order to assuage the appetite of followers that can’t tolerate anything else.
You can hate Cardi B’s vocal chords more than stale milk — and still hail her arrival as the best thing to happen since “being authentic” was all it took for greatness. You can join the choir that echos the preaching of how Janet Jackson’s days of being in Control — are now waning or you can curse out Kanye West for being Kanye.
I don’t have legions of followers — that count on me to stay the course when the stakes are high enough to threaten deletion.
So — I’m able to praise the antics of one of the most hated men in Black America — who is currently being held in the #sunkenplace and all the other cells that are designated for the ones who’ve violated the rules of conduct.
There’s no doubt that the late Whitney Houston suffered for her art in ways that we will never fully grasp. A lot of the pain stemmed from not being fully embraced by her community — which was evident when she was booed at the 1989 Soul Train Awards — because the audience disapproved of her “Whiteness.”
There was no consideration given to the fact that she was pretty much a manufactured product that music mogul — Clive Davis — took advantage of and then discarded — once the angel evolved into a vulnerable human with the unfortunate dependency on a vice that ultimately destroyed her.
During the really bad years —when even her mother singer Cissy Houston pleaded for her troubled daughter’s life on a radio station — there didn’t seem to be much rallying in support of a beautiful soul who gave so much and received so little in return.
There was the general disengagement that was afforded another fragile superstar — Michael Jackson — whose sudden death in 2009 — was immersed in the demons that haunted him throughout his ultra-layered life.
We can’t get enough of them when they’re on top of the highest mountain — but when the going gets tough — we immediately abandon ship and distantly keep up with the crazy headlines as we casually accept the train-wrecks that used to literally rule our world.
Both Jackson and Houston died exactly the way we all assumed they would.
Whitney Houston’s death was particularly hard for me — because I was rooting for her recovery on behalf of her baby girl who was the one person that seemed to love her without reservation. But unfortunately — the sweet girl with the voice from heaven who never learned how to define stardom on her own terms — tragically gave up.
Since — then there have been several documentaries produced by filmmakers who tried to unlock the mystery of the impossibly gorgeous songbird who had so much to live for — and ended up the unexpected lead of a real life horror story.
There is a new film on the life of Houston that will drop this summer — and it’s being hailed as the best of the lot because the recruits are family members and close acquaintances who are fed up with the misrepresentation of someone that they are now ready to lovingly commemorate.
In the meantime — Houston’s memory lives on through iTunes and the whacky memes that plenty of you divulge in — even when the imagery is far from respectful. Like the one I’ve seen a million times — that depicts her at an award show — skipping to the podium before hastily reading off the names of the people on her “thank you” list.
That meme is hauntingly raw because it’s quite obvious that the singer was high as a kite — and if you don’t believe it — watch the expression on her mother’s face as she witnesses her daughter’s self-detonation.
I don’t see anything wrong with Kanye and Pusha’s decision to use the photo of Houston’s drug-fueled bathroom for the album cover for Daytona — because the worst case scenario has already transpired.
There’s also the realization that being an artist can be a process that requires a level of tolerance that isn’t easily accessible for those who can’t reach that high. And now more than ever — that specific exercise is an impossibility since most of our decisions are based on the maddening crowd — that can make or break us with a simple click.
I’m crazy in love with folks who are willing to be blasphemously explorative without any consideration for the static that gets loud as fuck before it fades into a dull tone — that ebbs away once the moment is overtaken by another defector.
If you’re able to circulate a meme featuring Houston at her absolute worst — then who the hell are you to condemn an album cover — that was chosen for a far nobler cause — that you might uncover if you take the time to research the artists — before sampling their latest offering.
Either way — I’m not motivated to condemn Kanye’s latest sin and I guess that makes me a sinner.
Or maybe I’m just a sucker for self-expression — for better or worse.